IKEA Miami will open its doors Wednesday in Sweetwater, the behemoth Swedish home furnishings retailer’s 39th store in the United States. Under construction for more than a year, the store is IKEA’s largest on the East Coast and its second-largest nationwide, after the one in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Here is a cheat sheat for Wednesday’s grand opening.
- IKEA will allow customers to get in line up to 48 hours before the grand opening, under a covered space adjacent to the doors. Portable bathrooms will be provided.
- Cuban coffee will be served beginning at 6 a.m.
- The Swedish, U.S. and Florida flags will be raised at about 8:20 a.m.
- As part of the celebration, Sweetwater Mayor Jose M. Diaz and store manager Selwyn Crittendon will saw a log — a Swedish custom to christen a home, aimed at bringing good luck to the people who live there and to future visitors, Roth said.
- Free stuff: an Ektorp sofa will be awarde for each of the first 39 adults in line, a Poang armchair for the next 100 adults, and a Famnig heart-shaped soft toy for the first 100 children.
- The first 2,500 adults will receive a prize envelope with an IKEA gift card worth $10 to $250 or a “Buy One, Get One Free” voucher for cinnamon buns, hotdogs or frozen yogurt.
- Outdoor furniture will remain on display year-round, and palm trees will be featured among the live plants for sale.
- IKEA’s Swedish meatballs, gravad lax salmon, or 99-cent eggs-bacon-and-hash browns breakfasts will be featured in the 600-seat restaurant. The overhead screens with photos of menu items will show the calorie counts along with the prices — 690 calories for the Swedish meatball dinner, 1,650 for half a rack of baby back ribs with fries and cornbread, 390 for Swedish pancakes and Lingonberry jam.
- Like other IKEA stores, the one in Sweetwater will also offer a Swedish food market, with crispbread, frozen crayfish, salmon, meatballs and pancakes, chocolate bars, sodas, Lingonberry preserves, cookies and other items. Nearby, a bistro will serve 50-cent hot dogs as well as pizza slices, cinnamon buns and frozen yogurt.
- IKEA prides itself on the benefits it gives employees, including tuition assistance, a 401(k) match, bonuses and professional development. The company also recently announced a new “living wage,” pegged to the cost of living in each U.S. location, which goes into effect in January 2015. Sweetwater’s lowest-wage employees, who compose nearly half the staff, will be bumped up to $10.79 from $9.29.
- The Sweetwater store, at 1801 NW 117th Ave., near the Dolphin Mall, will be IKEA’s second in South Florida — after Sunrise, which opened in 2007 — and its fourth in Florida. The others are in Tampa and Orlando.